I was excited by the arrival of my copy of Exporting - The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably. It's written by small business exporting expert Laurel Delaney.
We actively follow her Global Small Business blog and turn to her information and help on all things related to exporting and small businesses going global.
Because of this, we knew the book was going to be good before even opening it.
And we were right. The book provides practical, easy to implement advice on how to start exporting or grow an existing export business.
While the book covers a wide range of topics related to exporting, several sections caught my eye:
Chapter 3 - Prepping for Exports: Corporate, Legal, Financial and Logistical Considerations: Most small businesses start exporting by accident, usually because of a customer order from a foreign buyer. Because of this, small businesses tend to be unfamilar and unprepared for the rules and requirements associated with exporting. This chapter provides the information needed to properly prepare your company.
Chapter 8 - The E-Commerce Connectivity Craze: This chapter is especially useful for product companies and explains how to build an ecommerce site and manage global supply chains to create and deliver products.
Chapter 14 - Preparing Your Service for Export: As Delaney points out, over 2/3 of all US small- and medium-sized business exports are services, not manufactured products. Many knowledge-based firms (Emergent Research included) often serve international clients but don't really think of it as "exporting". It is. Read this chapter to better understand how to reach and build your international customer base.
Chapter 20 - Getting Paid: Small businesses often tell us the reason they don't export is concerns about payment. This chapter provides all the information needed to get paid on time with a minimal amount of risk.
Chapter 25 - Global Ethics: Earlier in my career I spent 10 years living and working outside the U.S., mostly in Asia. Because of this, I know how important ethics are when doing business overseas. I also know how tempting unethical behavior is and how much trouble it can get you in. I really like Laurel's Gold Standard Code of Ethics approach and I strongly urge anyone considering doing business overseas to read this chapter.
Chapter 26 - Business Travel and Security Tips: Traveling internationally on business sounds glamorous. It is fun, but also exhausting and a lot of work. This chapter provides the information needed to make the trip easier and safer.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to export. The real world, nuts and bolts kind of advice and information it contains will save you money and time - and make you a more effective exporter.